Saturday, September 2, 2017

Fargo Rival 27.5+

It's Sprootz' fault.
I haven't seen hide nor tail of him for a year or two now, but he's getting the blame. Or credit.

Way back when, Surly introduced the Krampus. A flat bar machine with 3" tires. I'm not sure if it was the first of its kind, but it caught my eye. In between a fatbike and a mountain bike, it looks like it might even be good on snow. Fast forward a few years, and there are tons of plus bikes. I've been eying the Salsa Rival since it was introduced last year. 1 x 11s drivetrain, 27.5+ tires.  The fever waxed and waned, I wasn't really needing or wanting another bike. I did figure I have a couple bikes I can sell so I'll end up with less bikes. Then I got all mr.-money-mustache and decided I didn't really need a new bike.

Sometime in spring I started looking at the bike more seriously and a shop in town had a large Fargo 29er that I sat on but didn't test ride. It actually didn't feel too big - I think the geometry changed or it might've been the Woodchipper 2 bars - but I wanted to find a medium. I mentioned the 27.5+ and asked if they'd be getting any more Fargos in, and he said oh yeah. REI had some available online and at certain select stores but I was hoping to get one at a LBS.

Then the mediums disappeared from REI online and I panicked. I couldn't find one at any Salsa dealers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or Montana. What? I just decided I'd go for it and they disappear. Universal Cycles in Portland, Ore. said they wouldn't get anymore. Salsa said they were out till the 2018 models. Well, maybe I can wait and there'll be a better-to-my-liking color scheme.

I emailed REI and asked them about the mediums. Their rep replied they did actually have some in select stores, and the closest one to me is in Bend.  He suggested I check with them first before driving down, which I did and it's a good thing because the medium they had was still in a box.  They said they'd build it up, and I drove down the next weekend.

I test-rode it, and the sizing felt good. The only thing I was concerned about was in very tight turns my knees might hit the ends of the handlebars if I wasn't paying attention. Briefly thought about trying the large cuz I like my bikes big, but went for the frame closer to my frame.

It's a fun bike to ride. Of course I said that about my other Fargo and Pugs Neck Romancer when I first got them, but it's just a little bit more so.  It handles corners great, with none of the self steer onthe Pugs, but still easily rolls over rocks and roots out at Riverside State Park.

Now I'm thinking what to do with the brown and orange Fargo. It's a great bike, and right now I need it because 2" tires are the largest Amtrak allows. I will probably keep it for my bikepacking rig. My mountain bike is sold, and maybe the cross bike is next.

Ok so how does Sprootz get any blame in this? Can't remember exactly how it went, but more than a year ago he mentioned how he could use me as an excuse/reason (maybe to the mrs.) to justify a new bike. This worked both ways for us.  I hadn't gotten a new bike for awhile, and he'd gotten a nice e-bike and maybe another, too. So, somewhat irrationally, that got thrown into the calculations. That, and the current world situation and I developed an eat, drink, and be merry attitude.

Funny thing, after buying it in late spring, I haven't ridden a whole lot this summer - too dang hot! I'm looking forward to putting many miles on it this fall, and maybe into winter.  I want to see how it does on snow.

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